TouroCOM Harlem Student Elected to National Board of SNMA
Brianna Mosley, Class of 2025, Has Big Plans for Her Region in Nation’s Largest Independent Student Organization for Students of Color
Third year Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Harlem student Brianna Mosley was elected as the Region IX Director for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Founded in 1964, SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest independent student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.
“One of my goals is to bring the region together and foster community,” said Mosley whose region is New York and New Jersey and who served as the TouroCOM-Harlem chapter president of the organization last year. “I’d like to develop a safe space where members can share their grievances about the rigors of medical school as well as have fun and get to know each other.”
Each region in SNMA is its own non-profit; Region IX includes 22 medical school chapters in New York and New Jersey and 33 pre-medical undergrad chapters as well as a pipeline program for high school and middle schoolers. Another of Mosley’s goals is to increase academic access by helping students get test-prep resources and access to mentors as well as plan the next year’s regional convention.
“SNMA is committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities in medicine and creating a medical force of physicians who are socially conscious, culturally competent and clinically excellent,” Mosley explained.
Mosley always knew she was interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.
“My family is in STEM,” said Mosley who grew up in New Jersey “My mother is in the pharmaceutical industry and both of my grandmothers were nurses. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a nurse, a PA, or a pharmacist, but ultimately after shadowing an osteopathic physician in Delaware I saw what it’s like to help patients and be a leader. I also really enjoy the problem-solving aspects of medicine.”
Mosley attended Rutgers University and then pursued a master’s degree in biomedical science in Drexel University. She chose TouroCOM-Harlem for its location and mission. “I liked that TouroCOM gave me an opportunity to be in Harlem and the ability to help the underserved in the Harlem community. In every leadership position I’ve been in, I like helping people come together for a common goal.”
Part of Mosley’s motivation for becoming a doctor mirrors SNMA’s goals. “There are so many disparities in the Black community when it comes to health and trusting doctors,” said Mosley. “I wanted to be the face that people trust and prevent the illnesses that my family members have succumbed to.”
Mosley said that family members have suffered from preventable diabetes and found out they had late-stage cancer because they didn’t trust doctors. “I’ve also seen how African Americans have poorer outcomes in obstetric care,” continued Mosley. (Mortality rates for Black women are 2.6 times higher than white women, regardless of income or education.) “I was in a unique position because of my education to enter into this field and help patients make smarter decisions and be a trusted face.”
The importance of doctor-patient relationship is something that Mosley often thinks about. “There are reasons for worse medical outcomes for members of the African American community,” said Mosley. “Sometimes patients are written off or labeled as non-compliant when they can’t afford their medicine or as non-compliant because they don’t understand what the doctors are telling them. I think if doctors listen to their patients fully and seek to understand their barriers to care, they would be more likely to trust them and adhere to their treatment plans. It begins with the patient-physician relationship, not making assumptions, checking our implicit biases and being conscious of what our patients are going through.”
Mosley is planning on specializing in obstetrics or pediatrics.